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Final Mazda RX-8 due 2012 (copyright image) (copyright image)

Mazda RX-8 Spirit R

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30th October, 2011

Mazda Motor Corporation has announced the Mazda RX-8 Spirit R, a special edition version of its four-door, four-seat rotary engine sports car. The RX-8 Spirit R will go on sale in Japan from 24th November, 2011. Mazda has also announced that RX-8 production will end in June 2012 and Spirit R will be the final special edition model. Mazda expects to sell 1,000 units of the special edition.

The RX-8 Spirit R is based on the RX-8 Type RS (with six-speed manual transmission) and Type E (with six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission). It is named after the final limited edition Mazda RX-7, and this pedigree is reflected in stylish features that include exclusive seat design and coloured alloy wheels. Additionally, Mazda's curtain and front side SRS airbag system, which is available as a factory-installed option on the base models, will be offered as standard equipment. Following the launch, the Mazda RX-8 line-up will consist of the Spirit R and the Type G (with six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission) model grades only.

Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda's Representative Director, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, said, "Mazda's iconic rotary engine recorded its famous victory in the Le Mans 24-Hour endurance race 20 years ago. Throughout 2011, we have been celebrating the 20th anniversary of that victory by demonstrating the winning 787B race car at Le Mans' Circuit de La Sarthe and various other events around the world. At each one, the screaming rotary engine and the sight of the 787B have enthralled everyone from young children to race fans who witnessed its victory in 1991. These events have been a powerful reminder of the widespread passion for the rotary engine. Although RX-8 production is ending, the rotary engine will always represent the spirit of Mazda and Mazda remains committed to its ongoing development." (copyright image)
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Main features of the limited Mazda RX-8 Spirit R series

Base models

RX-8 Type RS (with six-speed manual transmission) and RX-8 Type E (with six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission)

Special equipment

For both manual and automatic transmission models

  • Exclusive Spirit R badge
  • Front headlights, front fog lights and rear combination lights (with black bezels)
  • Front and rear brake callipers (red)
  • Transmission tunnel trim (piano-black)
  • Curtain and front side SRS airbag system
  • Exclusive to the manual transmission model
    • Specially-made Spirit R bucket seats from Recaro
    • 225/40R19 89W tyres and 19-inch alloy wheels (bronze)
  • Exclusive to the automatic transmission model
    • Leather seats (black with red stitching)
    • Leather-wrapped steering wheel (black with red stitching)
    • Parking brake lever (with red stitching)
    • Centre console box front seat armrest and rear console box lid covered with synthetic cover (with red stitching)
    • Sports suspension, larger brakes
    • 225/45R18 91W tyres and 18-inch alloy wheels (gun metallic)

    Exterior body colours

    • Aluminium Metallic
    • Sparkling Black Mica
    • Crystal White Pearl Mica (optional)

    Australian availability

    The Mazda RX-8 Spirit R is not confirmed for Australia. However, it may be possible for Mazda Australia to bring in a few examples of this limited edition model in 2012 as a final hoorah for the RX-8. The question for Mazda to consider is whether or not the RX-8 has gained sufficient admiration over the years to warrant a "last hoorah". Next Car's prediction is that the Mazda RX-8 won't be missed in Australia and the model will just fade away (in the traditional manner) without any examples of the Spirit R arriving in Australia.

    Mazda's rotary engine history

    1961 July Signs a technical contract with NSU and Wankel
    1967 May Announces the completion of the rotary engine and introduces the Cosmo Sport 110S
    1968 July Introduces the Familia Rotary Coupe/Mazda R100
    1969 October Introduces the Luce Rotary Coupe/Mazda R130 Coupe
    1970 May Introduces the Capella Rotary/Mazda RX-2 series
    1971 September Introduces the Savanna Rotary/Mazda RX-3 is introduced
    1972 November Introduces the Luce Rotary/Mazda RX-4 series
    1973 June Cumulative production of rotary engine vehicles reaches 500,000 units
    1974-1977 Approximately 15,000 Rotary Pick-Ups manufactured for the North American market
    1975 April Introduces the Roadpacer
    1975 October Introduces the Cosmo AP/Mazda RX-5
    1977 July Introduces the Cosmo L (Landau top)
    1977 October Introduces the Luce Legato/Mazda 929L
    1978 March Introduces the Savanna RX-7/Mazda RX-7
    1978 November Cumulative production of rotary engine cars reaches 1 million units
    1981 November Introduces the new Cosmo and Luce/Mazda 929 rotary series
    1986 April Cumulative production of rotary engine vehicles reaches 1.5 million units
    1986 September Introduces the fully redesigned Luce
    1990 April Introduces the Eunos Cosmo featuring a three-rotor rotary engine
    1991 June The Mazda 787B wins the 59th Le Mans 24-Hour endurance race
    1991 December Introduces the fully redesigned RX-7
    2002 March Introduces the Spirit R final limited edition Mazda RX-7
    2003 April Mazda RX-8 introduced
    2012 June Mazda RX-8 production scheduled to conclude


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